Margaret Bingham

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Margaret Bingham, Countess of Lucan
Portrait of Margaret Bingham, formaly Smith, Countess of Lucan (4671265).jpg
Margaret Bingham (née Smith), Countess of Lucan, 1820
Margaret Smyth

Devon, England
Died 27 February 1814
London, England
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Charles Bingham, 1st Earl of Lucan
Children Lavinia Spencer, Countess Spencer
Lady Eleanor Bingham
Lady Louisa Bingham
Lady Anne Bingham
Richard Bingham, 2nd Earl of Lucan
Parent(s) James Smith
Grace Smith

Margaret Bingham, Countess of Lucan (1740 – 27 February 1814)[1] was a British painter, copyist and poet. Her art was much admired by Horace Walpole. Her pseudonymous Verses on the Present State of Ireland made a strong protest against Britain's treatment of Ireland.

Personal life

Margaret Bingham was born Margaret Smyth in Devon, England, the younger of the two daughters of James Smith MP of Canons-Leigh, Devon, and his wife Grace.[1][2] She married Charles Bingham, later 1st Earl of Lucan, in 1760.[1] She died in 1814 at St James's Place in London,[1][2] and was survived by five children.[1]


As an artist, Bingham often copied the work of others, as well as painting portrait miniatures.[1][2] Her work was collected in the United Kingdom and in France. In Paris she was given access to the Palais-Royal to copy works of the artists on display there, which were owned by the Duke of Orléans. Her foremost work was to supply miniatures and illuminations for a five-volume edition of Shakespeare's historical plays, for the library at Althorp, Northamptonshire. This took 16 years to complete. She also painted portraits, still lifes, and landscapes.

She was greatly admired by Horace Walpole and there are several flattering allusions to her in his letters. In his Anecdotes Walpole attributes to her "a genius that almost depreciates those masters [from whom she copied,] when we consider that they spent their lives in attaining perfection."[1]

As a writer Lady Lucan published around 1778 Verses on the Present State of Ireland, a strong poetic protest against Britain's treatment of Ireland. It was published in Dublin under the pseudonym Lady L–n.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Ernest Radford, "Bingham, Margaret, Countess of Lucan (c. 1740–1814)", rev. V. Remington, ODNB, Oxford University Press, 2004 Retrieved 4 October 2014
  2. ^ a b c d "Margaret Bingham". Orlando. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 28 July 2013.

External links

  • Lady Elizabeth Herbert and her son, Charles, by Margaret Bingham, Countess of Lucan, on card, inscribed & signed, circa 1777, after the 1775 original by Sir Joshua Reynolds from Elle Shushan Fine Portrait Miniatures
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